Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Alyssa Cheadle, Psychology

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People respond to stress in a variety of ways. Resilience, or the ability to bounce back from adversity, is a common response (Bonanno, 2004). Because adversity is common, it is vital to further examine sources of resilience. There is a lack of knowledge related to resilience and everyday stress, thus, we intended to study the relationship between resilience resources and acute stressors. In particular, we wanted to test whether people with higher resilience resources experienced acute stressors as less stressful than others and whether self-ratings of resilience resources would change after exposure to acute stress. Participants are recruited through a student subject pool. Participants complete a pre-survey online containing multiple measures of resilience and other factors related to resilience. Five to 10 days later, participants come in to the lab and complete two acute stressors: a Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (Lejuez, Kahler, & Brown, 2003) and an autobiographical emotional memory task (Mills & D’Mello, 2014), as well as a survey, and a values affirmation task to mitigate distress (Meagher & Marsh, 2017). In the survey, we assess resilience with various measures including the Resilience Resource Scale from Julian and colleagues (under review), perceived stress (Cohen & Williamson, 1988), and other constructs (e.g., religiousness, health, depression, anxiety). We predict that resilience resources will correlate positively with measures of resilience, life satisfaction, optimism, coping, social support, personality, religious identity and involvement, emotional intelligence, and general health. In addition, we expect that resilience resources will be predictive of lower perceptions of stress in response to exposure to acute stress and that the resilience resource scores will not change as much as other measures of resilience after exposure to acute stress. This study will provide additional evidence on how resilience functions in people’s lives. A better understanding of resilience could be used to influence our mental and physical health, our stress and coping skills, and our satisfaction with life.

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Psychology Commons